One of the saddest messages I am most often required to deliver to new clients is that their bond income is merely an illusion, and a tricky one at that. In fact, in most cases, their actual income is a tiny fraction of the amount shown in their brokerage statement. If you own individual bonds (not bond funds), this is probably happening to you as well — and costing you dearly. And this can occur indefinitely without your ever noticing.
I often hear that interest rates are awful and that it's the worst time ever for retirees needing to live on fixed income. Yet when you look at after-tax, inflation-adjusted returns, a different picture emerges.
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